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Is med-school worth all the time and energy


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Mary Jane’s Answer

This is an important question! Many students fail to consider work-life balance as they think about becoming a physician and burnout is a real problem within the US's physician workforce. I would echo Brooke's suggestion that you try to shadow a variety of different healthcare providers and ask them this question. If shadowing isn't possible right now because of the pandemic, try reaching out to some practitioners and ask if they would be willing to do an "informational interview" with you by phone or video. In addition to physicians, consider talking with physician assistants and nurse practitioners. You might start with your own pediatrician or family physician since you already have a relationship with them. They may also be willing to introduce you to practitioners they work with--don't be afraid to ask them to help you expand your network. If you are polite and respectful of their time, most people are willing to help you explore your career options. Good luck!

Mary Jane recommends the following next steps:

This is a pretty good guide to informational interviews: https://www.wellsacademics.com/summer-to-do-list-student-informational-interviews/

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Brooke’s Answer

That is a great question Kourtney! As a medical student, I can attest to the difficult nature of the profession. Many physicians describe their training and job as a way of life, rather than a "job." Patients will see you around town, look up to you, and share intimate details about their life with you. Being a physician is an extremely rewarding career, as you are able to help individuals achieve their best health and provide care during their most vulnerable moments. Pursuing medicine and attending medical school is a VERY expensive and time-consuming decision and one that should not be made lightly. I would recommend to shadow different docs, or even be a scribe or EMT to help figure out if medicine is for you. It certainly is not for everyone and I would emphasize how important it is to find out if medicine is right for your before taking the MCAT, spending thousands of dollars on applying, and then spending upwards of $500,000 to attend medical school for 4 years.
In my personal opinion, medical school is extremely tough, but certainly a rewarding profession and one that is worth all the time and energy--but again, everyone is different and it is most important to follow where your passions lie.

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